White House tees up coal waste rule

By Miranda Willson | 04/22/2024 01:35 PM EDT

The new wastewater discharge standards for coal plants are expected to be finalized Thursday, along with other regulations.

The Trump administration last year finalized new "effluent limitation guidelines" governing toxic wastewater pollution from power plants.

EPA is expected to release a rule setting water pollution limits for coal plant discharges. Sickter6/Wikipedia(wastewater);PxHere(coal plant)

The Biden administration has advanced a new rule to protect water resources from coal waste, one of several power plant regulations that industry leaders and environmental advocates expect to come out Thursday.

The rule would tighten federal standards for wastewater from coal-fired plants, a known source of toxic heavy metals, nutrients and other pollutants in rivers and streams. The White House Office of Management and Budget finished reviewing the final rule Friday, according to a notice.

As proposed, EPA’s new effluent limitation guidelines for coal power plants would reduce water pollution by approximately 584 million pounds per year, the agency has said, adding that it would result in significant benefits for aquatic life and public health.


In a statement Monday, EPA spokesperson Remmington Belford said the agency planned to finalize the rule “this spring.” But three environmental advocates and one industry representative said the rule was expected to come out Thursday, to coincide with an Earth Day event.